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Thumper
05-17-2007, 04:12 AM
Wearing one of my other hats at the moment (aside from owning a TR2, a Latham and various other Triumphs) I'm also working with RML this season, assisting the team as it races the last MG sports prototype still competing at the highest level in international motorsport.

This is our third season with the MG EX264, and she's still going strong. Two consecutive LMP2 class wins at Le Mans (in 2005 and 2006) mean we're going for the hat-trick next month. Mike Newton and Thomas Erdos will be joined once again by Andy Wallace for the 24 Hours, but they've already started their year with two strong runs in the European Le Mans Series - leading the opening rounds at Monza and Valencia, and probably deserving wins on both occasions.

If anyone's interested, we have a website at https://www.mg-lola.com and offer "live" reporting throughout the races, and will be covering the whole Le Mans week with daily updates and photos.

If any forum members are heading for Le Mans, please make yourselves known, and perhaps we can get you a tour of the garage on the Friday morning. (I hope this isn't considered 'off topic', but the car is a homologated MG, it's British, and it's racing!)

Steve_S
05-17-2007, 06:15 AM
If that isn't on-topic then I don't know what is! Thanks fo the information and the web link.

kcbugeye1275
05-17-2007, 07:17 AM
This isn't quite where you are, but on this side of the pond, Kent Prather is still racaing his mga in SCCA and won his 6th national title in her in 2005. He has driven his competition crazy by winning in a 45 yr old car. That being said, it is a highly developed racing machine. It is always the most attractive car in the field. Good luck next month!!!!!!!

tony barnhill
05-17-2007, 08:04 AM
Went to your web site - is that her present paint scheme?

Thumper
05-17-2007, 10:06 AM
Hi Tony. Yes, we've not changed the colour scheme this year, although if you check out the gallery and photos from Valencia, you'll see that we're running two different aerodynamic packages this season. At low downforce tracks, like Monza, we're continuing to use the 05/06 nose, with the cooling ducts either side of the nose. At high downforce, twisty tracks, like Valencia, we will use the new 07 configuration, with the aperture in the middle, like the Acura Lola in the ALMS, and as the trend set by the Penske LMP2 Porsches.

tony barnhill
05-17-2007, 12:19 PM
How long do you think it will be a viable contender? & then what happens to it?

Thumper
05-17-2007, 01:30 PM
Well, it's still top of the pack at the moment, and even out-qualified all the LMP1 Lolas at Valencia. Lola continues to support the chassis, and have come out with the new aero-package for this year. If that level of support continues, and we also get the same commitment from AER, the engine developers (and no reason to think we won't) then it could do another season. The final decision rests with Mike Newton and RML, of course. I'm not party to their discussions, so I'm only guessing.

What happens when its racing career comes to an end is also down to Mike. He owns two of the original EX257 chassis, and they sit, one of them in race-ready condition, in the workshops at RML. Their turn may come in the various Revival series, when they're old enough.

aeronca65t
05-17-2007, 08:57 PM
That is great!

But it is also sad to think that it may be the last of the "real", Brit-based racing MGs.

Thumper
05-18-2007, 02:27 AM
True. There certainly won't be any more. Even though the men from China came to look at the 264 last year, after it won at Le Mans for the second time, anything they may (or may not) do in the future won't be British, so an era certainly comes to an end when the 264 retires.

tony barnhill
05-18-2007, 07:41 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:]so an era certainly comes to an end when the 264 retires. [/QUOTE]

So, it should never retire - just move from its present venue into historic racing.

Thumper
05-18-2007, 08:23 AM
Unfortunately, that's not always so straightforward. There tends to be a gap - usually of around ten years or so - between being competitive at the top, and then eligible for "historic" motorsport.

We're now seeing a tremendous upsurge in interest and participation here in Europe for the Group C era cars, and they were phased out at the end of the Eighties. The GT90 series made its debut at Silverstone a couple of weeks ago, and despite a pretty mediochre grid looks likely to be a realistic championship for next season, but cars there have to be roughly ten years old to compete. There's no signs, as yet, of any historic championships (over here anyway) that would invite the LM prototypes. Nevertheless, I'm sure it will come, eventually.

Hap Waldrop
05-18-2007, 10:10 PM
Here in the states you can run late model prototypes with HSR, we had a Audi at the Mitty vintage races, along with the Aston Martin and the Bentley that ran at Lemans just a couple of years ago.

tony barnhill
05-18-2007, 10:39 PM
Well, there ya go! When its no longer competitive in the UK, Hap can buy it & run it in HSR here in the US! I'll crew for ya, Hap! hehehehe

Nunyas
06-06-2007, 09:02 PM
I reckon if you guys keep winning they'll keep supporting /bcforum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif

Thumper
06-20-2007, 06:22 AM
Sorry to say, our luck ran out this year. Not any easier to take the retirement when we looked set for another win, but that's Le Mans for you. It's no good if you don't reach the flag. Perhaps we'll be back next year, but nothing's confirmed yet. All the details are on our website, and more being added over the next few days.

Thanks for the interest. All support appreciated!

Nunyas
06-20-2007, 11:51 AM
dang! Great story you guys have posted in the News section covering the final moments leading up to the blown engine!

Roger
06-20-2007, 01:46 PM
Yes, I was sorry to read that, Thumper.

BTW, I know Ray Mallock, so I've been following RML fortunes for a long while. His father and mine were great friends, going back to WWii.
I haven't seen him for ages, nor would I claim to be a friend, but a distant supporter, I suppose. Say hello for me!

DrEntropy
06-21-2007, 07:36 AM
And a bit off-topic: The website is sweet. Nice, clean and very well done. Congrats on that as well.


but that's Le Mans for you. It's no good if you don't reach the flag. Perhaps we'll be back next year, but nothing's confirmed yet.

That's racing in a nutshell, too. MANY DNF's in my past, none as spectacular as LeMans, tho. /bcforum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif &lt;jealousy smiley&gt;

I'd hate to think there would be no RML entry next LeMans.

Thumper
07-03-2007, 05:36 AM
Won again last weekend at the Nurburgring in Germany. Great result for the team, as it was a very strong field and very few cars encountered problems, so a victory on pace alone. That always feels good!

aeronca65t
07-03-2007, 06:49 AM
Won again last weekend at the Nurburgring in Germany. Great result for the team, as it was a very strong field and very few cars encountered problems, so a victory on pace alone. That always feels good!

Agreed!
I hate to win just because everyone else retires.
It's much more fun to have a good scrap than to be the last man standing.

Congrats!

Nunyas
07-03-2007, 11:35 AM
Although, being the last man standing has its own merits as well /bcforum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif However, I can see how such a win isn't as sweet as beating everyone else out right.